We’re tracking down the most bizarre food things we find in the deep, dark corners and bright shiny headlights of the internet. This week, as we sail into the official, sweltering days of summer, writer Ashley Hefnawy takes the pulse on what’s interesting (and just downright bizarre) in the world of ice cream.
It all started with a Facebook post of my friend eating ice cream that looked like normal ice cream. Upon further inspection, I realized that it was in fact, different. The consistency was creamier, and it had toppings that I didn’t recognize, framed elegantly in a waffle cone that was probably made fresh that day.
Turns out, it was custard, a kind of ice cream with which I’d been unfamiliar. This sent me into a research spiral, down a deep Internet hole for more information on custard ice cream, ultimately landing on so much more than just that. Without realizing, I began making a list. Here is the list. You might be surprised by its contents. They might be weird, but you’ll probably still want to eat all of them.
Garlic Ice Cream
I love garlic bread, garlic sauces, all the savory goodness that garlic can offer. I personally love nothing more than that smell of garlic being sauteed with oil in a pan, the base of most of my favorite dishes. That said, I almost fell off my damn chair when I learned about garlic ice cream. This sounded ridiculous. But apparently, it’s not! The internet says that garlic ice cream is just as delicious as any of the other savory flavors, because it’s got a base like honey or vanilla. It’s basically just vanilla ice cream with garlic in it. That might still sound gross and weird to you. Try it for yourself at The Stinking Rose in San Francisco. As of right now, you won’t find any garlic ice cream in New York, unless Max & Mina’s in Flushing decides to add it to their ever changing roster.
Olive Oil Ice Cream
Weird, but delicious. In the same realm of strange exists olive oil ice cream. To be honest, the creamy consistency goes really well with the perception of olive oil that I have in my mind: smooth, good smelling, and easy going. Similar to garlic, olive oil ice cream is all about the creamy vanilla base. Some recipes call for coconut milk or coconut cream, combined with vanilla and honey, among other ingredients that are used to make, well, creamy ice. Unlike most others, olive oil ice cream is easy to make at home! But for the lazy (me) you can also try it at Odd Fellows in New York.
Black Ice Cream
This ice cream is black like my soul, wardrobe, and favorite types of cats. I want to carry this ice cream with me everywhere. Morgernstern’s in New York is responsible for this ashy colored ice cream, which is made from coconut ash, a type of activated charcoal. Apparently activated charcoal is hip? It’s also used in pizzas, and cocktails? Who’d have thunk. This ice cream is actually coconut ice cream, but because of all the creative elements that are involved in its inception, it is more commonly referred to as “black” ice cream, due to the lingering stain you’ll experience on your lips and tongue.
Liquid Nitrous Ice Cream
CUSTARD FOR PRESIDENT. Seriously, I want to try all the custard ice creams. Liquid nitrous ice cream is exactly what it sounds like: custard-like ice cream that is blasted with liquid nitrogen. This makes the temperature of the ice cream very cold. Dippin’ Dots is also uses liquid nitrogen, so maybe that gives you a better idea for what kind of cold/texture you’re in for. You can try it for yourself at -321º Ice Cream Shop in Brooklyn. The whole process is done in front of you, so you can even watch them transform your ice cream from basic, to sub-freezing. Go on and get it.
Camel’s Milk Ice Cream
You’d probably think that camel’s milk ice cream is not very different from regular ice cream. You’d probably be right! That is, until you try it out. Camel’s milk has a slightly different taste, which makes the ice cream a little saltier. This sort of ice cream originated in Dubai, and Camelait is probably the most well-known version of the product.
Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream
Are you bored of weirdness yet? No? Because it’s about to get so much weirder and so much better. Murray’s Cheese Bar in the West Village offers customers a chance to combine two favorite indulgences: cheese and ice cream. You can try their cheddar cheese ice cream, which actually sounds amazing, given salty and sweet combinations. Is cheese a graduation of cream? Or cream a graduation of cheese? This is probably something I will better understand after eating the cheddar cheese ice cream.
Sriracha Ice Cream
I’m gonna be biased. In my past life, I was someone who over indulged in Sriracha. I put it on everything, like one of those people. I am no longer one of those people. I use hot sauces sparingly because I’ve learned the power of subtlety. Go figure.
That said, Sriracha ice cream pretty much sounds like my dream situation. It’s the indulgence of my fantasies. I have had sriracha popcorn. It’s amazing. Cream and ice make it probably some level close to orgasmic. You should try it and decide for yourself. Note: it might be pretty hard to find this flavor in a store or shop, but you can try and make it yourself.
Mirin Ice Cream and Soy Sauce Gelato
A visit to the Bouley restaurant in TriBeCa will allow you to try Mirin Ice Cream & Soy Sauce Gelato. They go together, like cookies and cream! Or maybe that’s what you’ll tell yourself to get over the strange juxtaposition of savory and sweet. As someone who is obsessed with Asian condiments, this is EVERYTHING. For those who are unfamiliar, Mirin is a type of rice wine (similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content) and is pretty much crucial to have in your collection of condiments if you’re going to cook most types of Asian foods. Combined with soy sauce, I can only imagine that it is the perfect joining of salty and sweet.
Lox Ice Cream
You’ll find this truly bizarre ice cream at Max & Mina’s Homemade Ice Cream and Ices in Queens. You might not live to tell the tale of your tasting journey after this point. The weirdness might be just enough to push you over the edge of ice cream “don’t go there” territory. But to me, this sounds like something truly worth trying! I love Lox. I love bagels. I love big breakfasts that include all of those things. Why not throw some ice cream into the equation? Alrighty then.
Kanye Ice Cream Week
There is so much happening here. It almost makes me want to cry. It was just Kanye week at Morgernstern’s and that means Kanye themed ice cream was had by all…or at least, all who were willing to wait out the two-hour line to indulge in Nori Shakes, this ridiculously good looking banana sundae , “I Am A God” Ice Cream Croissantwich , and so much more.